top of page

UA News and the Unconventional Ag event series are no longer being offered. You can continue to stay updated on the global ag, agtech, food, and food tech sectors through our other publications and events: Global AgInvesting conference series, AgInvesting Weekly, Agtech Intel NewsWomen in Agribusiness Summit, and Women in Agribusiness Today.  We are grateful for your past support, and look forward to staying connected with you through our range of media platforms.


Scientists Supercharge Soybean Photosynthesis, Boosting Growth by 30 Pct

Following a decade of research, scientists have successfully genetically engineered soybeans to maximize the efficiency of photosynthesis, resulting in plants that produce greater yields without using more land or sacrificing quality.

Through the international Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, scientists have determined how to increase food crop yields by leveraging how plants turn sunlight into energy. In 2016, proof of concept work using tobacco plants was published, which led teams to turn their attention to food crops. Having shown significant yield increases in two very different crops - tobacco and soybeans - this work has demonstrated a “universal applicability”, showing promise as a tool to fight food scarcity, which is projected to affect 600 million people by 2030, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Photosynthesis is a highly inefficient process involving more than 100 steps. To increase efficiency, scientists have focused on one particular part of the process called the xanthophyll cycle. By editing three genes, researchers were able to modify how plants regulate this protective mode, or xanthophyll cycle, when exposed to high levels of sunlight and then shade.


NeverStop - 650x85.jpg
CPM Logo Image
LECO Ad Image
MOSOY-NovDecJan-1000 x825-02.png
UA News Subscribe Image


Contact Lynda Kiernan-Stone,

editor of Unconventional Ag News, to submit a story for consideration:

bottom of page